Florida Student Association is Going Green

July 16, 2009 at 2:58 pm Leave a comment

During the last week of June, the Florida Student Association (FSA) met to plan for their legislative and campus priorities for the upcoming 2009-10 school year. The FSA is comprised of Student Government Presidents and Executive Officers from the 11 universities in the System of Florida.

They met in Orlando for a 3-day planning and strategy meeting, interspersed with educational presentations on topics relevant to students in Florida. These topics included the Bright Futures Scholarship, Student Health Insurance, and Student Representation on Student Fees Committees. Organizers for the meeting invited Southern Energy Network to address the Green Fee and to facilitate a conversation on how to move forward. Earlier this year, in January, the FSA Board of Directors voted to support the Green Fee campaign in Florida. With 8 out of 11 University System schools engaged in some level of the campaign, gaining the support of the state-wide student government association was a celebrated victory for students. Despite intense lobbying efforts from students and the FSA, the legislation that would enable implementation of the fee at schools with approval of the measure stalled out in the 3rd Committee.

I had the opportunity to network with student government from around the state, and met amazing student leaders! Students at Florida International University and Florida A&M University had a keen interest in the Green Fee and other ways their university might increase its efficiency and improve its environmental friendliness. Students at University of North Florida wanted to know how to get their student body engaged on the issues, while University of South Florida wanted to know how to focus the energy of their active campus groups.

During the hour-long breakout session that focused on taking action in the University System, representatives from 6 schools were present and actively engaged on discussion on the history and future of the Green Fee. They asked challenging questions and had some great ideas on how to move forward on the campaign. We also discussed other key energy related legislation, such as the Renewable Portfolio Standard.

Although the Green Fee did not make it onto the larger legislative agenda at this meeting, the Chair of the Legislative Committee, Stephen Mortellaro, has been working on the campaign for over 2 years at University of Central Florida. He considers it a worthy issue that deserves attention from the Association. With the next legislative session 6 months away, we have time to reinvigorate the campus campaigns before we take it back to the Senate!

Stay tuned for more exciting updates as this campaign continues !

For more information on the Florida Student Association, visit their website.

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Entry filed under: southern energy network.

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